House

Rep. Haaland says Trump's 'go back' remarks 'perplexing and wrongheaded' to Native Americans

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) said President Trump's tweet telling four progressive lawmakers to "go back" to the countries where they came from is "perplexing and wrongheaded" to Native Americans like herself.

Haaland, one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, offered her thoughts in an op-ed Monday in The New York Times with the headline "Trump Wants Immigrants to 'Go Back.' Native Americans Don't."

In it, she noted that Trump himself is a second-generation American.

"My Pueblo ancestors, despite being targeted at every juncture - despite facing famine and drought - still inhabit this country today. But indigenous people aren't asking anyone to go back to where they came from," she wrote.

Haaland emphasized Monday that the "president's tweets and words matter."

"It's on all of us to call out what is pure hate and racism and stand up for one another," she wrote.

"There is no moral high ground from which President Trump or any of his followers can tell anyone to leave this country, because they are not the first inhabitants of this land."

Haaland said that Trump claiming the country as his own "proves that he doesn't understand his place."

"As a 35th generation New Mexican and a descendant of the original inhabitants of this continent, I say that the promise of our country is for everyone to find success, pursue happiness and live lives of equality. This is the Pueblo way. It's the American way."

Trump touched off a controversy a week ago with his tweet targeting four first-year lawmakers - Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.). All four members of the self-described Squad are minorities and U.S. citizens. Omar is the only one born in another country.

Trump has since reiterated the remarks several times, saying the four progressive women of color "hate America."

The House on Tuesday voted to condemn Trump's tweets as racist. Four GOP lawmakers, as well as Independent Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), joined every Democrat in approving the resolution. 

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